Tuesday, 27 September 2016
Fools Rush In.
The day didn’t start well at all, I had decided to stay up just a little later than normal trying to stay in the wife’s good books, well it didn’t work out that well as I slept in, I’m usually up at 4.30 to be picked up at 5.30 for a 6.00 start and I didn’t get out of bed until 5.18 uurgh! But I still sat my arse in the car for 5.30 with a splash of water on my face and my teeth cleaned and fully dressed but the rest of my routine thrown out the window I was struggling to maintain my composure if things start bad they have a tendency to stay wrong.
My lift although well meaning has a touch of autism and is focused on what he wants to be focused on and sod the world, my arse hadn’t touched down and he was away rabbiting about some formula issue in a spread sheet that had been sent to him the day before, I have to admit I didn’t care and the twenty minute drive was spent wondering if I could bury the body in a field, but I was too tired so he survived for the moment. Part of the journey was spent discussing what I required for next week at work as he sorts out my inspections for me and it helps that he can be “focused” because people usually are glad to see the back of him so agree to whatever he says to them. Of late as he is snowed under as everybody else is with work he has been ringing people and as I was intending to do the retail park there should be 12 units to do but one is undergoing a refit so that’s good for me but that’s still 11 units and my record is 8, a new unit had opened up and we had no contact details so imagine my surprise as he detours into a dark retail park and he leaps out of the car with a torch in hand to see if there were any contact details on the door (see I inspire dedication) by this time I just wanted to get to work and yet he insisted that peering through dark windows (for feck’s sake) I’m surprised somebody didn’t call the police (as if they would get there in time) about the dodgy blokes in the little red car. We finally made it into work (with no contact details) and I scurried away to the sanctuary of a dark quiet management suite (where my new office is) and chilled, well that is until I saw my emails 42 new ones since I left to go home the previous night, now to be honest 28 were cack but I still had to read them in case there was anything pertinent to the coming day.
After a mass deletion session the rest were a bit more serious and required serious study, legal documents and the such like and hopefully I didn’t drop any mistakes like allowing somebody to do some hot works and they only have insurance for up to £1.50 or something silly, my structure soon kicked in and I was back on an even keel even without breakfast ( I had a cunning plan...which didn’t pan out) my last email was to my area manager wanting to know what I had done for the previous four weeks (the cheeky tw@t!) so after I had buried him in all the crap I had done I felt good knowing that he was going to have to take as long as I did to write it to read it! It still felt like big brother watching over me but he’s new so I suspect he’s just trying to get a grasp on if he can give me anymore work (erm no). I then had to deal with staff not being able to do the simple little things so that took another hour, then on to the control room to sort out work permits and if anybody got abusive (hey I’m trying to help you dumbass!) they were refused, see the pen is mightier than a dumbass being abusive you need me! I certainly don’t need you! so play nice or I won’t allow you back on site you knuckle draggers I have to admit most are canny however if somebody is stressed they can’t resist shouting at the man behind the bullet proof glass! No wonder I’m so tired this was all in the first two hours hot damn I needed some food!
Things moved ever so slightly to the left after that and got just a touch surreal as the course I was meant to write on Monday was still not done as I was still waiting for some relevant information, so I upset the doofus who hadn’t given me the information by informing him that the next time he would be presenting the course himself (I actually thought he was going to burst into tears...but he didn’t) another crisis averted only for me to be told all at the same time I was actually wanted in four different meetings all scheduled at the same time, although nobody had informed me so cue much dashing between rooms giving people information I was stopped in mid sentence to be told that there were some gentlemen from the fire brigade here to see me (oh shit!) at this moment allegedly I had the expression on my face that said “please just shoot me” but I gathered what wits I had left and said hello and answered their questions said my farewells and then finished up with the meetings and I felt at this point I had fought at the Somme!
I then ran into some technology issues ....well alright I was tired and that was the real issue and I still hadn’t eaten and had to start my inspections for the day, my head was spinning and I thought I was starting to lose the plot when all of a sudden the smiling assassin (a person who I wouldn’t trust with anything) turned up all oily and smarmy and to be honest I wasn’t in the mood and well let’s just say I was blunt, so that has the potential to come back and bite me in the butt! (Continued at dontgivearatsass.com)
I set off at a great pace having already had to cancel my first appointment because of all the other stuff over running but I soon got in the swing of things and had some great inspections with some people who were actually interested in doing things right (hoorah) while I was doing my last inspection the fire brigade chaps from before spotted me and hung around trying to get my attention, which I didn’t need as I was dealing with a lunatic who was even more of a loon because of them hanging around so I dealt with that curve ball and then headed back to finish whatever was left on my desk (no fecking chance) and as I sat down and saw my schedule for next week (ok so Monday and Tuesday only) only to be sent into a panic because of the timings for the retail inspections (not to worry my autistic friend had just left the usual timings on the sheet) once that particular crisis was averted I regained some composure took a deep breath and basically crashed and burned 10 hours of running around without a drink or anything to eat or even a chance to pee (I know just a tad too much information but hey I like to share) I did what I seem to do best of late I crashed and burned, I tried to answer my phone calls but to no avail at this point the wife rang and asked if I wanted picking up and I gratefully accepted the white flag was run up the flagpole and I ran like hell, or rather (limped) jumped in the car!
To return the good deed as the wife was looking worse than me (she had done 99% of the babysitting for the last four days) I decided to treat her to her tea out and yes I was paying, so we called into the Woodman’s in Whickham and although we waited a wee while for our meal we both enjoyed it I even sprung for a pudding as well so that’s my reputation shot but it was nice just being a couple without anything to worry about anything other than her pinching off my plate, the cheeky mare!
We arrived home and she headed off to see the Kraken and I pottered on at least the dog was happy to see me (as always) but my parcel had finally arrived after an email to ask where it was? a piece of vinyl autographed that I probably have had a few versions kicking around at some point but this was a new “heavy” version weight wise that is, the youngest turned up and we had a chuckle, the wife returned home bearing bile and malice for the good people of our hometown (I’m so glad she can’t buy a bloody gun) me and wife started (and I do stress started) to pack her case (and I do stress only her case) but that soon went out the window and we floated through the rest of the night and I have to admit to munching through 14 tons of food over the course of the night and I feel guilty as I’m at the quacks tomorrow with weight related issues, I actually feel so bloated after the holiday it’s time to get a grip and start to concentrate on it I seem to have strayed from the path especially when I was doing so well as well, ah well one day at a time.
I now hurry to finish this as I started later than expected (and I need my beauty sleep even though I have a slight lie in, in the morning) back to the quacks and some punishment due and another day of madness, a training course fired from the hip and even more people looking at me strange as I carry my little black book around trying to remember everything that happened, so that hopefully I will fulfil my ambition to have yet one more book done god this is so addictive but better than gambling and other oddities that some people do (bless).
Monday, 26 September 2016
Shoulda , Coulda, Woulda!
So with the big plan finally in motion we then had various plans of action to sort and place gently in the stream before us, I will admit to being like a school kid on Christmas eve waiting for a fat man in a red suit to appear and I have tried (quite successfully I feel) to be on my best behaviour and (hopefully) have only asked what appears to be pertinent questions about our actual destination, I have to admit if we had been going to Skegness (well maybe’s not on reflection) I would be just as happy just me and the wife no kids (although I do feel guilty that the youngest is stuck with the Kraken) and some warmth on our faces.
The wife went into shopping mode it seems I can’t take my underwear into the US of A it seems that they have a statute of limitations on how old underwear is (not quite a teenager I think....actually I don’t know) so it was shopping mode for her (which makes her happy...most of the time) and I didn’t complain (much) well it really does makes her happy and I don’t normally get clothes bought for me, it appears that I’m going as a style consultant for that well know clothing firm based in Las Vegas WELD!
Work just droned on as always with brief interludes of happiness and drinkie poo’s with certain individuals (family wise) trying to rain on the parade (it’s ok I brought my Pac a Mac!) and although the wife has had a few dodgy moments it’s like she has been given a new lease of life (so that’s a good thing) E even had T shirts made for us for the trip with tour dates on the back of them ( I really was like a kid on that special day) and a bag tag.
The t-shirts have three skulls (and hopefully the cover of the book should be said t-shirt) which are like the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, we even managed to squeeze in a birthday bash for Mr. C and much drink was consumed with only a little chat and pornographic pictures of naked VW’s but we behaved and I blogged about it so I won’t bore you again with it but the holiday is drawing ever so quickly towards us and I know it will be here and gone so fast like my hairline but I don’t care I have the feel good factor!
That is until the wife starts stressing while babysitting and taking crap off the eldest, and the Kraken has come down with Wugga Bugga disease, a strange ailment that only rears its head when the wife might actually might be having that strange thing called fun! We went and did a little more shopping and I got some new underwear and socks and tried various other items and watched amused while the wife tried to work out some semblance of a schedule to sort our cases (which are out of the loft and are sat at the top of the stairs) we really just need to fill the bags and weigh them (I even brought my scales from work to weigh them) I just need time to throw some medication into the wife’s throat to bring her down to warp factor five.
The only item that really does need to be sorted is in actual fact is our spending money into that lovely green cotton currency called Dollars, G always carries ten dollar (hey sailor) he says he never knows when he might get called away on diplomatic business. We hope to do the deed at the weekend (we will have to as there isn’t a spare moment in our days Monday or Tuesday and we go Wednesday (way hey) sorry a moment of joy I have to be careful apparently it’s highly addictive and I’m not sure I could deal with happiness on a regular basis! (Go on I’ll have to give it a try)
Today was a challenge at work but knowing that I’m going on my holidays is helping immensely, although I was about to go on a killing spree when somebody else went off on one and because they did it saved me big style as one of our senior managers went totally atomic (and to be honest I didn’t really blame him) but I was so blinkered and I hadn’t seen the warning signs thankfully crisis averted, I got down to the business of my busiest day of the year with eight inspections a prelude to next Monday when I have twelve to do, I will be the person sleeping on the train on the way to Manchester.
My intention to be witty and urbane as I write a classic (it’s ok I have been drinking) means that I really should be carrying my little black book everywhere as I saw so my possibilities today just so much potential but just not enough time to write it all down, so many freaks and just not enough ink and paper to be had at the right moment.
One good thing that has happened is that I now have three assistants to help me make sure all the naughty boys and girls are being compliant I can see lots of interesting times ahead and even with the legal obligations I foresee rich pickings ahead, all three have identified the biggest dick on site correctly so it’s not just me who hates him (what do you mean you all thought it was me the cheek of it!) ah deep joy!
So although I have stated my intention of running silent running deep I do indeed intend to try and do a chapter a day until the end of the holiday and beyond ( or at least try and sketch a broad outline) so that I can actually get the book printed in top secret fashion as I’m not telling anybody about this (not even the wife) particular project until it lands on my doorstep hahahaha I feel like an obscure mad European professor screaming at the top of my lungs “IT’S ALIVE” and with the process well and truly started we can only just crack on and hope that we do indeed hit a rich vein of happiness and humour and plenty for me to write about in an interesting way! People are under the impression that I am indeed doing research for the occasional blog oh if they only knew I would probably be in so much trouble right now!
The only different thing that happened at work today that caused me to chuckle was somebody from the arena where a well known pyrotechnic Teutonic marching band were playing tonight one of the crew came on a shopping trip firstly to go to Timpson’s as the singers boots had had a buckle malfunction , but then he had been tasked to get three knuckle dusters (erm pardon)which are a banned object, but the shop I was in had some as belt buckles which were fashioned in the shape of Knuckle dusters and with some engineering they would indeed be what the band required they also wanted eight leather belts no more than 4 centimetres wide so they could be cut up, I thought he was going to ask for a gimp mask after that little lot but thankfully he didn’t , I could have knocked him out for the roll of twenties in his hand mind you but me being a good boy I decided against it.
At this moment I have to stop as I have actually done the first two chapters in one sitting and if I don’t stop now I will try and second guess myself and start deleting stuff and I really don’t have the time to do that I can edit after the main event and not before, so I bid you goodnight and shall be off to my bed to wait for Santa to pop down the chimney with dreams of Vegas baby.....hell yeah!
Saturday, 24 September 2016
The wife and I very rarely go on holiday at the moment purely a financial thing I don’t earn enough to do everything that we would like to do, bills and the such like keep getting in the way you know those things like council tax and electricity bills, food you know the ones we all have them! On top of that being a one wage family and many years of paying school fees for our children to have the best start possible (the ungrateful whelps hahaha) and yes we couldn’t afford it but hey ho the money would have only been spent on pies and something of a similar nature.
The last holiday we had was another cunning plan a trip to Rhodes where we basically needed a holiday so we stuck it on a credit card (fools) and went away with everybody’s blessing (not) but then you learn by your mistakes (hahahaha) or so I’m told, for the last few years (well as long as The Tee Hee Club has been in existence ) we have had a number of cunning plans for trips and we always fall at the first hurdle (money being the said stumbling block) lofty ambitions we have but the actual deed is always a bridge too far, we have lots of genuine intentions it’s just I struggle to regenerate my organs after they have been harvested on a daily basis (and I’m not complaining the wife does but you go with the flow as far as I’m concerned) and although most of the plans have been pipe dreams one that has formulated and stuck in me and the wife’s brains has been a trip to Las Vegas, we nearly had the money sorted to go last year. Then my company was taken over and the money that we had saved was used to cover a bill that my new medical insurance wouldn’t (pre existing medical condition the bunch of robbing bastards) pay for, a scan on my knees which indicated the need to get my problem resolved as quickly as possible. So the bill was paid and willing accomplices did their thing (and why shouldn’t they) and I was lost in a sea of pain 14 weeks of rehab after surgery and a pipe dream that was burned into our collective brains.
Life carried on and we had a whole load of shenanigans, which if you have read the previous books and even my blog most of the time life is good, family matters are the biggest blight the eldest just wanting her own way all the time and the Kraken well actually that’s just more of the same, just magnified a billion times (it’s like they are North and South Korea and feck the world) unfortunately the world just happens to be the wife and I’m the moon because allegedly I’m lifeless and basically just a satellite. Now I’m not the heartless person some people think I am and I do have to admit to feeling either helpless or I feel as though I’m the hulk! There is no middle ground for me and if it had indeed been a member of my family attempting to blackmail the wife she would have had to get behind me in the line telling them to jog on, but this indeed different and they pull every dirty little trick to play my wife’s heartstrings like Status Quo playing Big Fat Mama as an encore.
But I do have to take a back seat and bite my lip (twenty years and counting) some would call it emotional abuse (most of the world) but the wife stands still amongst the whirlwind of emotions that are hurled at her and I will admit to being unhappy at the way she is treated and sometimes she can appear to be so weary what with her family and her health issues (which I insist are linked but what the hell do I know) and to be honest the more I saw her getting worn down the more a cunning plan had to be devised.
Me when I’m down I hide in food it used to be drink with food thrown in as a side order but now it’s mainly food, the wife well she just gets on with it and sometimes she will snap and take it out on me, you know the usual stuff 12 hour working day an extra 2 hours for travel working my butt off without a break through that 12 hour shift and then having the audacity to fall asleep on the settee ( I still say I just blink for long periods of time) but most of the time we plod on and are happy with our lot well the good bits. I had to rearrange our mortgage at the end of the year the previous term coming to an end I even arranged a new bank loan to save money (borrow more pay less who could argue hahaha) and with some wheeling and dealing there was a small sum left and then the cunning plan was back in play!
The intention was to go later in the year, and basically try and save some more for spending purposes and have a bloody good time (instead of me doing my usual sitting counting the foreign currency at every given moment), the plans were discussed and everybody was initially invited and it seemed like it was a cunning plan about to hatch but then it all fell silent, people had other ideas, relationships drifted and again it seemed like we were yet again cast adrift with no captain to steer the boat our holiday plan floundered and the wife was back in the doldrums.
Then like a spark to a touch paper the idea was floated late one night and it burned brighter than a thousand suns this time it wasn’t to be a damp squib, we had focus we had direction and it actually looked as though this was actually going to happen. The idea was trimmed back to just four of us and if you read the blogs for Glasgow and Manchester for our Motley Crue road trip this was indeed going to fun with a capital F. We didn’t plunge straight in although we had a rough idea (ok so we sat there and nodded) meticulous strategic planning had to swing into action it was as if we were planning a small invasion of the United States of Gimpsville! Life though had to continue I still had to continue my punishing schedule of inspections at my place of work, but I had a dream one that didn’t involve selling my soul at the company store each and every day. The wife actually got some life back into her face and although there was some fancy foot work ahead it was worth the risk and the abuse to do what we intend to do. Actually it’s never worth any of the abuse but until the wife tells me I can go atomic on their sorry arses I will yet again stand in the background and bite my lip!
Then all a sudden like a fumbled sexual teenage experience it was sorted the holiday booked something to look forward to the only thing that would stop it now would probably be a death ( on the wife’s behalf! me sod that I’m still going even if it’s me who has died) and I have to admit I might look lonely sitting in the airport with my Netto bag but hey life isn’t a rehearsal the man has been paid me and Ma Clampett are Vegas bound!
At times we have looked at each other and thought “hell’s bells it’s on” and at the time of typing this everybody and his nephew is off to see Rammstein blowing the living daylights out of Newcastle I have (yes I know I’m cheap) hatched another cunning plan, my writing has become a tad stale of late and virtually everything I’m writing I haven’t been at all happy with so here’s the deal! I had intend to blog about the trip anyway, take my little black book with me make notes and write my little cotton socks off, and hopefully I can come up with enough material (come on G is going what could go wrong ooops) for a whole new book and if you are indeed reading these words then this indeed either a new book totally dedicated to the mother of all road trips (how the hell do we top this fecker!) or it’s a few chapters in one of the multitude that I seem to permanently have on the boil, I don’t know read on and see what happens I can but try and if I’m honest I have a rejuvenated sense of wanting to write something and by golly nothing is going to stop me (apart from the wife abusing me again or I do indeed blink again!) unless I’m struck by apathy which would hopefully bounce right off my shield of hopefulness (can you tell how excited I’m getting already).
So let’s (as always) go with the flow let’s see where the currents take us and hopefully you will enjoy where the river transport takes us!
There's the start of the book properly, so many views and good comments already, thank you all so much until tomorrow and the next chapter Toodles!
Okay in 2012 me and the wife went on the best holiday ever with the best peeps to guide us (G & E) I wrote a book about it, the book is now out of print and although it sold quite well some people have requested it to be serialised, well you should be careful what you wish for, over the next three weeks I will be posting the bulk of the book including introductions and special thanks, a blog a day will probably reduce numbers in the long run, but this is probably the best thing I have ever written and I feel it deserves a bigger audience, so hold onto your hats this one hell of a ride
WTF that’s what the title of this book should have been, because over the period of time that this book was written there were so many WTF moments, but I didn’t think that everybody would get the joke (as if it matters). This idea was born on the 45 bus home one night from work as I day dreamed the trip home thinking about the holiday that was to come.
Then there was a what if moment (I seem to have a lot of these) and lo and behold there was yet another book (or plate spinning depending on the analogy) and I was off and running although I intended to keep the book a secret (yeah right me with my big mouth) I still had to be the media whore that I had become, what with blogging and twitter and even farcebook I had to keep it under wraps as best as I could.
The little black book was probably a giveaway when we boarded our train (hahaha) but I did try to keep it to a minimum but trying to decipher my notes weeks after the fact well you decide, hopefully the books are getting just that little bit better, although I’m aware some people just keep reading the first fifteen pages over and over (go figure).
We became separate individuals The Wife became Tits McGee (read on to find out why) G became Bubba Gump, E became Mercedes Slots at her own request and I was Shamus Fabreze this is their story do you dare read on?
The book was originally going to be called actually it doesn’t matter the new title was picked by a lady and was so much better, and actually fits the mood of the book (in a good way) so enjoy and please any death threats please send to my business manager or whatever E has decided to make herself today!
One last thing The Tee Hee Club never and I mean NEVER leave a fallen man behind!
I hope that has wetted your appetite because the journey has just begun! until the next chapter Toodles!
Sunday, 18 September 2016
Traditionally I didn’t work a Monday, musically I worked Tuesday to Sunday, but Monday you had to be in the office to put your expenses in, which you got paid the following Monday, sometimes you lived off these expenses especially if there was no work due, me I wasn’t proud I would prostitute myself to any part of the business that paid, I occasionally humped and dumped at various venues for a daily per diam, I worked for various record companies temping in the pool doing all the work the regular Joes felt that they were far too important to do, I preferred to keep busy as the devil was in the details, if I wasn’t working I would be drinking, if I was drinking and everybody else was working that would be me stood in a boozer with deep dark thoughts running through my brains(not a good place) that’s why I usually worked, worked, worked and if I could I would work some more.
If you didn’t get your expenses in on time you had to wait a fortnight, and unless you had some savings well that really did impact on your lifestyle, musically I got a task sheet and received my well-earned dues every 12 weeks, if you were lucky you were out of the office by eleven, I was always an early riser so I was usually sat on the door step waiting for the office staff to arrive, they all thought I was a lovely well-mannered young man, (WTF) no I just knew if I treated them with respect they usually did the same for me, it was also a sure fire way of getting any additional work, it’s amazing what a cheap bunch of flowers will do to cheer someone’s Monday morning up, Sunday was usually a day when we would (if not working) be on the lash from the word go, a spot of lunch and then more drink I always disappeared around 5 o’clock so I could get some beauty sleep.
Up first and in the shower, if you are sharing with up to 8 blokes trust me you don’t want to be number 8 in that queue, down to the launderette to pick up your weekly service wash, a quick full English at the café, back to the flat to put on your clean attire then on the 8.10 into central London, no traffic you could be there by half past, with traffic you would be there at about ten to, still before the ladies arrived, expenses in, tax book filled in, royalty book signed and then the job cards, again because I was in first I used to (and everybody knew I did it, I made no secret of it, you snooze you lose!) check all of the job cards, I didn’t drive so if there were any jobs too far out, I would swap them, even if they were a better paying job (one of the reasons nobody complained because they usually got more money for it) I would take the jobs I wanted, there were some people I hated working for, they were crap, just horrible people who thought they owned you! poor wages which were never paid on time, jobs sorted for the week I would put my requests in (any gig for the forthcoming week always had a guest list and again you guessed it first come first served, or a request for a promo copy of a forth coming release)then expenses in hand I head for the open road and the local record store to see what I wanted to buy (or what would end up on my wish list for the following week for a promo …..cough splutter) a spot of lunch usually with a friend or two usually John Case and Steve Ridley, then we would decide on the rest of the week, we would check to see what was booked (they were in constant demand) and we would work around our schedules as we wrote together whenever we could, then to do any chores I had to do, pay bills, pay money into one of my many (cough) bank accounts, then possibly early evening meet up with everybody for drinks and an evening meal on expenses and then onto a band, it didn’t matter who, a good band is a good band you may not like the band or the music but they were fellow family learning their trade, the same as you and I always learned something good or bad, if you don’t learn something your brain dies, if your brain you become stunted and then you become a horrible person, I don’t like horrible people.
Monday night was never a late night you were usually fed and watered by midnight and tucked in hot to trot for the next day, Tuesdays were usually the days when you always struggled for work so we might play football, squash or something else to try and keep our bodies in shape, Tuesdays was when I usually got all my many notebooks into order, delete the stuff already used, I wanted no point of reference, there’s nothing worse than writing the same song with someone else days down the line! (yes I have done that a couple of times) Again out for drinks and food and hopefully another band (in 1984 I saw 310 gigs that was a great year) up ready for the following day, I had a taxi account so I would simply pour myself into the taxi and motor off to work, if it was a writing day, it would be to meet the person you were going to be writing with, many times I never met them before that day and I never met them again (go figure) by this time I would do stuff for cash and no credit so I wasn’t invested in it, I did my job professionally, I simply wasn’t going to wrestle on the floor with somebody over some English syntax! And yes I have done that in the past, words could mean the world (or a royalty lol) sometimes it was in a flat or a studio, in a publisher’s office, I can say I have written in Tony Visconti’s house (admittedly he was on holiday in Italy at the time) and so many other distinguished venues, but to me it was just another working day.
Wednesday was usually the only singular day, if you were going to get a single day task then it would be then, the world woke up on Thursday and then marched relentlessly on, now so far it sounds like a glorious fun filled time of my life, but I’m not telling you about the times it was me against the band (4 or 5 guys who hate you because the record company think you can sprinkle fairy dust on their dog shit) the people who were obnoxious, the older people who hated me because I got so much work and did it better than them, I always had a work ethic, be the first there and leave last, work always came first (I’m from up north did you not know) I could also be a major pain, and when they found out you couldn’t play an instrument, well that went down really well. The people who didn’t want to pay (that was most of them) the music business is awash with many but many people don’t wish to part with what is rightfully yours! Shower of shit the lot of them.
Then there was the crap food, the number of times I wrote lyrics sat on the pot simply because of eating suspect food, trying to get a taxi at silly o clock in the morning, explaining to random policemen what I was doing walking the streets in the pouring rain at three in the morning, the really long unsociable hours, it wasn’t unusual to work four days straight, with no sleep, little food, but plenty of cans to get you through. Sometimes we were all like the walking dead, I’m so glad that there weren’t mobile phones, because I shudder at the thought of some of those photo’s! Some friendships male and female frayed for days or even weeks at a time, then we would realise how dumb we were being and make up in a drunken haze at some after-hours pub. If you had to go and work in another part of the country, you had to get hotel expenses receipts (my fave trick was to turn up and see the night porter and get a written chit, give him a tenner and then claim £40 -50 back, trust me they were never the best hotels I was always glad to be staying at the studio) again you got per diams for food usually a tenner which you saved and scrounged food at the studio or if you had a way of stealing food from the vending machines, honest I didn’t have a master key! It’s not a job (for the faint hearted) that you could do for long, I did it for nearly four years and if I’m honest I was a wreck and glad of the rest when my career came to a screeching halt in early 1986 (yes all those years ago).
I would occasionally head home to visit family and friends, many who didn’t have a clue when I wasn’t around I was working or what I was working at, they just thought I was pulling a moody lol! Bennett my publisher loved me and my work ethic, he always said I was his pension fund (more of that in another blog because it did end in tears for all concerned) he would always try and keep me sweet, his wife said I was the son he never had, I’m not sure that was a good thing or a bad thing, thankfully we had a good working relationship, he had got into Publishing while doing national service in the army (I have no idea how or why) but he knew my tale of woe, I honestly thought he had only given me the contract out of pity, once I had proved my worth on some menial tasks, he soon started giving me better work to which I simply excelled at, I really was his pension, by the time our working relationship had ended I was producing a little under of 60% of his company’s profits. He always asked me when I picked up my work like some kind of wrestling promotor “Can you Deliver?” to which I always replied “fuck no” which always got a chuckle, sometimes a nervous chuckle, but he knew I would always try my best, even if I was working with knob jockeys! What I liked about working London at the time was the anonymity, nobody knew me, I had a good working relationship with most people, but that’s all it was…………Work!
It was a good time usually surrounded by good people listening or playing good music, I remember The Riddle (Steve Ridley’s band) playing the marquee and Steve falling off the stage as he was so happy to see me, I believe the paying audience was 14 that night with about 40 friends and family! There was obviously The Dawn Patrol (see blog of the same name) and we probably burned a few too many bridges, but you only get one life and it’s not a rehearsal, if you didn’t get a block of days for work you had to turn up to the office, like a glorified cattle market, everybody was there early on those days, if I didn’t get picked (and there were some days I didn’t, allegedly I rubbed some people up the wrong way…..me with my reputation! I ask you as if! the guy who ran phonograms office hated me for some reason so I never got work there) I would hang around hoping something might come in late, I needed a minimum of two days’ work to pay my way the rest I could sort of wrangle!
The back end of the week and no work would simply have meant my service wash was put in early, it still cost me between £4-7, the little old lady who didn’t speak much English (yeah right) never had any favourites she, would say hello give you your ticket then say goodbye, if not working a leisurely lunch and then out on the lash, it meant it was going to get messy, I only ever fell asleep on the Tube once and that’s because we were going to a party in Seven Sisters Road and I was pissed and I didn’t know where we going, the flat belonged to a member of Little Angels and the place was later immortalised in a song by Dan Reed, I doubt it was the night I was meant to be there, however we will never know as I awoke in some fucking train depot at 5 in the morning, that was a lost weekend, because as soon as I had found a greasy spoon to have breakfast I soon discovered an out of hours rock bar still going strong and then onwards until dawn, one of too many weekends like that, I really did burn the candle at both ends and then I would take a flame thrower to the middle …………..go figure!
So there you have a historical blog of a kind, one that I have been toying with for months, the original a little over 7000 words, this comes in at around 2500, this one is nowhere near so dark and the rest will be used albeit in a split up kind of way, some will be improved and some (just a little) will be disposed of, sometimes even the cocks deserve some level of secrecy, let’s see how this one does, let’s see where the numbers take us, the old blogs are still available here online for you to enjoy, however the books although are still promoted on Blurb.com they are now deleted, I have a couple of copies which I will gladly sign send direct to you, however I only have a couple of the title left the most popular “restrooms of the strip” is long gone, I may serialise it in November, again not the full book but enough of it to give you all a taste, let me have your thoughts on it and we will have a bit of fun, so that’s the blog thanks for all of the kind words enjoy, and keep spreading the disease, keep watching the skies and until the next one comes along ………………………….Toodles!
Sunday, 11 September 2016
So it’s a historical one you want, it’s a historical one you shall have, are you sitting comfortably then I will begin.
I have written many words regarding my brief sojourn in the music industry, within this blog and the last one in books as well, let’s hope I don’t trip over the scars of the written word of old.
I had been writing songs with friends since the age of 14 and I will be naming them over the course of this and many other blogs to come, I had a knack for penning a word or two, I also was pretty good at rewriting other people’s mistakes, some people were pure genius at writing music and melodies but could barely string two words together, I had got my start after witnessing a friends (soon to be my) friends band in Witton Gilbert club and I laughed at the naïve lyrics about a certain Lucinda sitting by a window, the amount of law suits that could have stemmed from that one song would have ham strung the individuals careers for years, the song was originally called The Knight Of La Maar, very Michael Moorcock, simply because he had written stories about said Knight, I thought I was going to get stabbed because I was howling in derision at the faux paus, I was asked if I thought I could do better, “hell yeah” was my reply, 17 sets of different lyrics 7 days later and all of them promptly rejected, however with some discussion bits from various sets soon formed into a 7 minute wonder called Crusader, with a very Diamond Head with Yngwie J Malmsteen on guitar kind of feel, it had something and it’s the one song I wish I had a copy of because it left a scar that remains to this day!
My (musical) friends then realised I could work at a voracious rate, sometimes up to ten sets of lyrics a week, for various people in different styles of rock, although I did do a number of songs in a “pop” style, now I’m not going to say they were all brilliant, they weren’t, simply the amount of songs that came off my assembly line should indicate that quality did sometimes suffer, but for a jobbing writer they were pretty damn good, I always found the longer I worked on the lyric the more I was unhappy with it, I soon wrote for a group of friends, Mainly John Case and Steve Ridley (more of John Case to come in future blogs) we were simply machines mainly writing as a threesome we soon settled into a tried and trusted formula, still the best people who I ever wrote with, we had an understanding and a short hand that only we got, others would just shake their head at the speed we worked, thankfully between the three of us our quality control was always set to the “highest” mark we could attain.
Mike Cooke thought he was Mr Blackmore and was doing Yngwie impersonation’s long before Yngwie had even released anything, a phenomenal talent but couldn’t write a song to save his life, however he could take somebody else’s music and blow it out of the water, he signed to Atlantic records back in 1982, I believe they are still waiting for his debut album, a fantastic musician who has over the years worked with and for millions of known artists who he could out play just about anybody simply by using his thumb, thankfully he learnt humility and ended up working and living for Ibanez and then Yamaha in Japan.
Gary Shaw a great talent who again thought he was Gary Moore and couldn’t write a note by himself but pair him with someone and the tunes flowed from him, he was great to work with and nothing was too precious an idea, all things would soon be worked out. Whistle something at Gary even just a simple melody and he could turn it into just about anything, Gary knew what his limits where and he worked within them, Gary did do an album which was released only in Japan, a great side man again for other artists, we used to call him the Duracell Bunny because he would just keep going and going, sadly he’s no longer with us, I still miss him, many a time we would try and get back to our flat in Hammersmith after a night out, good times!
Simon Fox who was a genius on the keyboard, who was always willing to help me out no matter what time of the day, I remember going to a wedding at a stately home where he was playing and he was ejected for playing on an antique harpsichord, and his party piece of imitating other keyboard players style was hilarious Kraftwerk playing Child in Time was a hoot! All of my big ballads were written with Simon’s help.
Phil Craig who I co-wrote every song he ever wrote (and he never held it against me) and his band Satellite who I loved but they had more line-up changes than Uriah Heep, a band who I auditioned for myself simply to help them out, when their regular singer (and another song writing collaborator Steve Newton) was out with a serious throat operation, I did 4 weeks of rehearsals then a full dress rehearsal (which was videoed and I didn’t know until the lights went up, along with a group of friends sitting quietly as I did my stage raps as though I was playing Madison Square gardens, mortified me you could say that , and they did often) with mini ramps and lights and stuff, (oh dear I hope that never sees the light of day, I’m still cringing to this day) I enjoyed every single minute of it but thankfully Steve Newton returned to save the day, it was at this point I knew I should stick to writing lyrics, although I did try again with several other friends bands, bands who were starting out at the bottom of the ladder to where my particular vocal talents were deserved, again I can remember some auditions were I would go off into incomprehensible Prog rock lyrics, I should have been horse whipped ah bless, Phil was a great foil to write with, but to me it was simply a poor man’s UFO and he could never see that, mind you he did pay on time so I never complained .
Tom Willis was just a monster on bass but could the best doom laden riffs he developed his own studio in Canterbury after getting turned down by Black Sabbath at the time they were recording the Headless Cross album. I knew so many people who were so talented and made a brilliant living in the music industry they just never made that big step to the next level, mind you some didn’t want to!
These are just some of the friends that I wrote with on a regular basis, these are the people who helped get me my first publishing deal just as I joined the army, they must have realised I was destined for other things as they kept the faith, shepherding me to follow them to down to London and sharing that flat in Hammersmith that was a palace for all who lived(dossed) there with a fab landlord, we knew we had landed on our feet, so we treated the place like a palace and as a consequence lived there very cheaply on and off for three years. We were young lads; well I was, as I was a good three or four years younger than them, many tales of drunkenness and thankfully not many of debauchery, we were well mannered and well liked in the street were we lived, the local restaurants loved us, as we all had expense accounts and we could entertain at least once a week and claim it back, so we were well fed, not like some of the people I know who went to the big smoke and ended up in Croydon and they suffered for their art, do the crime do the time (where I would end eventually), I worked plenty but there was always some down time, sometimes I temped for per diems at record companies, I rarely went hungry, there was always the promo copies that we all used to sell.
The three years were a blur if I’m honest, good times and gigs, an extended kind of family that I wasn’t really used to, these people also bore the brunt of my early dark years after coming out of the army and they held me together with love as opposed to brown paper and string. Very rarely was there a time a time when we didn’t or couldn’t get tickets to go and see who ever we wanted, Bryan Adams supporting Tina Turner, we did all 14 nights and never got to see Tina Turner once, the time I begged for some tickets to see one Stevie Wonder gig, only to be told not to bug this person anymore, only to bug them (like they said I would) for the other 5 nights LOL!
The Jaunts back north were often and I still kept in touch with my friends and family, then the dreaded females crept into the picture and then that’s when some of us started to fragment, my first wife didn’t like my working lifestyle (but loved the lifestyle and the money that came with it) she didn’t stick around too long once my musical life came to a crashing halt, but she only whinged at me and not my friends who individually she liked she thought we were a pack of arseholes when we all got together “I beg your pardon how very dare you! (I resemble that remark) a long time ago and many of the Dawn Patrol have fallen behind away from the streetlights, gone but not forgotten.
Do I miss it hell yeah I do, but thirty years down the line, I wouldn’t have lasted much longer for reasons that I will elaborate in future blogs, my time was done and I was starting to wish that I could write epics in the style of Fish, which I couldn’t, and I was getting frustrated with my inability to write a classic, ho hum me have an ego, no not really, I was simply trying to be cleverer than I thought I was. The amount of distance is bound to make me nostalgic for the good times, but life has moved on, I probably couldn’t write a decent lyric if my life depended on it, you have to know which battles or even wars to fight and win, my day was done, I don’t have the hair or the waistline to contemplate a return, I enjoyed what I did and what I had. Let’s move on gracefully, yes lets!
So this is the basis of the next few blogs I need to do a bit of research so that I simply do not repeat what I have written before (my head is a shed ………..full of shit) in blogs or the books, having said that not everybody got the books so I might recycle depending on the demand from some of the books although they will be altered so as not just to be lifted directly from the original text(sorry Dave) remastered is the term that the record companies use, so I hope that this fits the bill, numbers are roughly the same so there could be another one in about three or four days, so watch the skies, incoming , but until then Toodles!
Sunday, 4 September 2016
Now here is how this works, I have been getting shit loads of questions from you the discerning reader, this is the second part, I have been tweaking this blog for weeks, time to stop sodding around and get the bugger posted, so here we go with various questions from various peeps, no names no pack drill! There are only 19 questions as I removed one as it was way too personal and the answer was way too damn bleak, we will save that for a later time altogether.
You just want to be a celebrity?
Erm fuck no, I started blogging as a form of anger management, I don’t make any money at it, I actually do it because I enjoy it, I’m not expecting to win any prizes I’m kind of surprised that you lot still read it!
Health seems to creep up quite a lot?
I will admit to being (at the moment) a poorly person, but I am doing all I can to make myself better, that’s all I can do, it’s a slow process and I’m not kidding myself, the damage done is quite severe, but with the help of friends and family I intend to beat these maladies and go on to be a better stronger person (here’s hoping) it’s my health that is slowing the writing process down because some nights I am just not physically or mentally able to write anything, my health comes before the blog, I have realised that, but the blog also helps me with my health so will just have to potter on when we can.
It will always be based on or around music I’m obsessed with it, it starts my waking hour, I travel to work with it, if I can play music through the day I will, I travel home with it, and I sit at my laptop listening to it at night time, if I lived on my own I wouldn’t own a TV just a bloody expensive music centre!
What is your drive for life?
I got asked this question nearly a dozen times, virtually word for word, I did a bit of cyber stalking just to make sure it wasn’t just the same (nutcase) reader, it wasn’t, it appears there’s loads of you, I have no idea, if I did I would probably try and fix it, make it better lol I have no answer I tend to just take one day at a time, I like to remind myself I am an 18-year-old with over 30 years’ worth of experience, if I ever find out you lot will be the first to know.
Why do you feel the need to constantly rebuild the blog?
I like to tinker I like to try and make it better and yes sometimes I fiddle and have good intentions, sometimes I listen to what others say (not very often) as usually that’s when I start second guessing myself and it all goes horribly wrong, I soon revert too normal and again just potter on!
You mention your wife a lot are you trying to score points?
Hell no, just giving credit where credit is due, I function within this world mainly due to my wife, now it’s not always rosy in the garden and we have our ups and downs like anybody else, but if I could do anything for the wife I would, if its within my earthly grasp I would gladly do it for her, just sometimes though I wish she would listen to me because I’m not as daft as I look.
We want more Books?
I would love to do more books, however as I keep explaining I am cack handed with technology and Blurb books is not as user friendly as it once was, as I have explained in the past I feel (don’t we all) as though I have a great story within me, I have the characters, I have the plot I have a killer twist and I even had someone who was going to be my editor, but that plan was thwarted when E had her stroke and I will admit here and now that my heart isn’t in it, however the better I get the more the urge returns, so don’t give up hope because I certainly haven’t!
What are your ambitions?
Just to get through each day as it comes, I have no great plan, well not while I have to work for a living, it takes me all my time to concentrate on that, however as always there a number of cunning plans, which sometimes come to fruition but then again sometimes they don’t, we have to keep my powder dry, again as always as soon as I know you lot will know.
Sod all, this is the second most asked question, life is not always a bowl of cherries, as I have just stated my health is my number one concern at the moment, I don’t have a white board with plans a hatching! This shit literally just pops up, again when it does you lot really are the first to know, my wife usually walks behind me shaking her head!
Do I have many Readers/Fans?
Erm I have no idea, I’m a tad concerned if I have “fans” I prefer to think of them as readers, and it varies, always less during the summer but it’s always three digits these days some higher than others, the previous blog used to hit four digits nearly all the time, I still write the same so maybe the site is more selective in who it lets read it, again I’m thick, I just go with the flow.
Without interaction there is no blog, as I get older I love to people watch, and hopefully as I get older the blogs will get better, I know they are quite self-centred at the moment, I am trying to shift the direction just a little bit, but it’s not going to happen overnight, hopefully when it does it won’t be so noticeable, baby steps boys and girls baby steps.
Do you feel old?
Hell yeah sometimes I do, but other times (usually the good times) I still feel like that kid I was before I joined Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, I feel better these days than I have in the past, but yeah sometimes I feel like an old man. I would add as a post script that I feel more old fashioned than I do old, it’s hard to quantify it any other way than that.
What do I miss?
Old friends, and family members, I feel I have a few blogs in me regarding the old times (Mr Robinson is going to get his wish) but that’s about it, the past is the past, if we choose to live there we don’t live our lives, I have wasted far too long in the past it’s time to move forward, its best for all concerned both family and friends.
Possibly the most commented blog of late, I did it as an afterthought, it was no less thought through, but I did it to let the wife know how much I love her (oh dear I have said it again) and numbers wise it was triple digits within 24 hours which is rare, it must have touched a nerve both good ways and bad, some didn’t care for it, as always I write for me so if you have a complaint, I might read it I rarely take notice, constructive criticism I have no issues with, petty minded fuckwits can jog on ……….ooops I did it again (no Nils the name game is not in play for this one).
What drives you?
Again this was asked a number of times and although I feel I have (I think) answered this, it keeps floating back into view, I really do wish I had more drive! I am envious of people who have this ability, me I just bimble from day to day. Also please see question number 4 of today’s blog!
Yes, I am obsessed with numbers simply because I have no idea what makes a great blog, the number one blog is “We Rock” it had over 500 hits inside three hours (WTF) I have no idea why it took off, it just did the next closest was the death of a close family member it may have taken longer to get there but its only 50 or so read behind the number one, maybe if I ever work it out the blog will not work, of course I would be lying if I said I didn’t want the blog to be successful, I do , I just don’t know how to do that!
I really have no idea what the future holds, I have many cunning plans, but no direct direction as to what these cunning plans are, I will continue as long as people read the blogs even if I go back to single digits (I need to be careful of what I wish for) I would like to get away from the name game in the title as it really is just a handful of people doing it these days, I will say that hopefully by next week I hope to have a rather large blog regarding some of my time in the music industry (warts and all) ready to be published.
Why do you always finish off with Toodles?
It something I have said since I was a kid, somehow it got tagged to the end of the blogs like a catch phrase, its non-threatening and I kind of like it.
Will there be more Now Hear This Blogs?
Probably, but not for the foreseeable future, keep sending your questions in I will stock pile them for later times, they seem to come in a glut and usually all about the same themes, let’s see what the tides brings to our shore!
So that’s that I hope you all enjoyed it, this should have been posted last week, but certain health issues came into play, hopefully the keel has been righted and soon there will be a steady flow of (nonsense) blogs coming your way, thank you for all of your comments kind or otherwise, keep spreading the disease until the next time ……………. Toodles!